SACP hits out at Hawks boss, supports Gordhan’s claims of ‘ulterior motive’

SACP hits out at Hawks boss, supports Gordhan’s claims of ‘ulterior motive’

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has thrown its weight behind claims by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan that there was ulterior motive behind espionage allegations levelled against him.

pravin gordhan-gallo
File photo: Gallo Images

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the SACP went further, lashing out at Berning Ntlemeza, the man in charge of South Africa’s specialised crime fighting unit, the Hawks.

“The conduct of the Hawks under Ntlemeza’s stewardship is increasingly leaving much to be desired, and indeed reflects politically motivated, factional and private agendas,” SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said.

“Cloning such agendas as if they were the law taking its course, and therefore abusing state power to pursue them, is completely unacceptable.”

While affirming its position that anyone should be investigated without fear or favour, the SACP said the Hawks investigation of Gordhan smacks of apartheid-era tactics of “factionally isolating and targeting some of the leaders of our revolution and other members of our society”.

“It is in the same context that the stalwart of our liberation struggle, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has become a barrier against the looting of public resources, is visibly being isolated and targeted. This is as wrong as the work of information peddlers who spread malicious information, and must be equally condemned,” said Mashilo.

“The Minister and his Deputy Mcebisi Jonas – who blew the whistle on machinations by the Guptas – have the support of the SACP in protecting public resources.”

On Tuesday, Gordhan released a statement in which he expressed shock at reports of his imminent arrest, saying it had been distressing for him and his family.

“I cannot believe that I am being investigated and could possibly be charged for something I am completely innocent of. I have answered the questions submitted by the Hawks, and have not heard from them. I was not aware of any impending charges or further investigations until the [media] reports in the past weekend,” the minister said.

Media reported on Sunday that the Hawks were poised to arrest him and other officials over the formation of an intelligence unit within the SA Revenue Service while he was its commissioner.

The questions were sent to him just days before tabling the 2016 budget. Gordhan insists the unit was established legally.

“The malicious rumours and accusations about ‘espionage’ activities are false and manufactured for other motives,” said Gordhan. - ANA

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